Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Nov 4, 2005
Lake, Porter counties meet ozone air quality standards; state to ask for ozone redesignation

GARY, Indiana (November 4, 2005) -- Governor Mitch Daniels and Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Thomas W. Easterly today announced plans to petition the federal government to change the ground-level ozone air quality designation for Lake and Porter counties to attainment. The area has long been lumped into the greater Chicago metropolitan area, despite the fact that testing proves Northwest Indiana has met the federal standard for more than a decade.

?Hoosiers have invested heavily in clean air and proved it through more than a decade of testing. It?s time to liberate the economy of Northwest Indiana from the unwarranted restraints that are costing us jobs,? said Daniels. ?We cannot allow Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana to remain captive to poor ozone air quality across the border.?

?Separating Northwest Indiana?s ozone designation from the Chicago metropolitan area would help the region recognize benefits from the long-term air quality improvements experienced here,? said Easterly. ?Allowing Indiana to focus air planning efforts in Lake and Porter counties will continue to be of benefit to Hoosiers and our neighbors in nearby Illinois and Michigan.?

IDEM and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) technical and legal staff will work together to address issues relating to the state?s petition to redesignate Lake and Porter counties as attainment for ozone. Indiana?s petition will include a long-term maintenance plan that Indiana must follow to ensure the area meets national standards for ground-level ozone in the years to come. The public will be able to view and comment on the state?s plan once it is developed and before it is submitted to U.S. EPA.

?Northwest Indiana citizens can be assured that monitors in Lake and Porter counties show the area is achieving national air standards for ozone,? said Daniels. ?Northwest Indiana?s local communities have proven they can meet increasingly protective national air quality standards, and they deserve the recognition of the federal government through factual designation.?

In addition to meeting the standards for fine particles and ozone, Northwest Indiana air quality also meets national standards for other criteria air pollutants, including carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.


Office of the Governor media contact: Jane Jankowski, 317/232-1622;

IDEM media contact: Amy Hartsock, 317/233-4927;